Luca Brecel’s 2-2 draw with Jack Lisowski in the final match of the day was enough for him to clinch top spot in Group Nine at the Matchroom.Live Championship League in Milton Keynes.
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Both players went into the last tie of day two with a chance of progressing, having each amassed four points with respective 3-0 wins over Oliver Lines and 2-2 draws with Robbie Williams.
With the highest break of the group acting as a tiebreaker, Brecel held a slender advantage coming into the encounter courtesy of a run of 138 compiled in his 3-0 victory against Lines.
Belgium’s Brecel claimed the opening frame, before a superb break of 104 from Lisowski restored parity at 1-1. A crucial third frame saw both players spurn chances on the final brown and blue, before Brecel cleared to put himself 2-1 up.
That meant Lisowski required a break of 138 or better to stand a chance of progressing to the Group Winners’ stage. He did win the frame, but only on the colours, and a 2-2 draw wasn’t enough for him to advance.
“I am happy to get over the line, that was a tough game against Jack, he is a world class player, so to beat him was very nice and to finish top of the group is what I came for,” said former China Championship winner Brecel.
“If Jack had made a big break in the last frame he would have still won the group, so I was trying not to leave him any chances and when I potted the first red I knew I had done it.
“I will go back to Belgium now. In the last frame I was thinking I was top of the group and would have to stay here for a week without being able to go outside, but I can go back to Belgium.”
Meanwhile, an impressive showing from Mark Joyce saw him top Group Three. He won all three matches by a 3-1 scoreline, beating Michael Holt, Mark Davis and Louis Heathcote. Walsall’s Joyce finished off his last match against Heathcote with a 101, his highest break of the day.